Welcome to the latest Pop Panel installment! Once again, sorry for the delay but I was too hungover on Sunday to turn on my computer - let alone whip up this shit up. Maybe I'll move it permanently to Mondays. Anyway, I hope it was worth the wait. I don't have a stunning A List celebrity guest like last week but I do have one of the closest Pop Panel battles in recent memory and some of the most stunning anthems to grace my blog in a very long time. Less than a point separated the winner and runner-up this week and I kind of wish it was a tie. I love them both so much! I'm also relieved about the bottom two. Taste still wins over hype and marketing on Pop Trash Addicts! The following bloggers helped me determine our latest single of the week:and Idolator
D'Luv (US) writer of Chart Rigger
D'Luv (US) writer of Chart Rigger
J-Step (AUS) music industry insider
Mike (AUS) author of this classy blog
The Prophet (AUS) writer of The Prophet
We were also assisted by the following guest judges:
Bruce (US) creator of my favourite website of all time The Universal Love Of La Toya. I feel honoured and blessed by his presence!
Grant (Canada) writer of the amazing Isle Of Deserted Pop Stars
Ok, let's get cracking. As usual the songs are ranked from lowest to highest.
Ellie does Elton John. I think he liked it.
Bruce: Gag. So earnest it hurts. Belongs on a "Songs For Cutters" compilation. Could this canary warble a little more please? Is this the song that won her Britain's Got X Idol or something? I'm sure Sir Elton LOVED her version! Him hating it doesn't buy him a new beach house! 1/5
D'Luv: So, she pulled a "Mad World" and reinvented the song as a maudlin dirge. Too bad there's no Jake Gyllenaal to jerk off over like with "Mad World" in 'Donnie Darko'. 2.5/5
Grant: Don't get me wrong, as I adore me some Ellie. But isn't this just a bit too precious? I'm not a fan of Queen Elton anyway, but somehow this makes a mediocre song even worse. But because it's Ellie, I'll be kind. 3/5
J-Step: I think I was on that train in July. If I would've known Ellie was doing this 5 carriages down, I would've walked down and slapped and kicked her for even thinking about releasing the second most pointless recording of all time (yeah, that's right Freemasons, "Uninvited" was a fucking disaster)! 1/5
Mike: Vile. This self-indulgence, achingly pretentious, soulless massacre of Elton's classic ballad makes me want to tie Ellie to a chair and force her to listen to the Cheryl Cole anthology as punishment. 0/5
The Prophet: I love Ellie. I actually wish she had stuck with some more electronic based sounds, just while the trend is hot, but this is a beautiful cover of Elton's classic. 4/5
Rihanna ft. Drake - What's My Name? (Video)
RiRi's latest cure for insomnia.
Bruce: In spite of Rihanna's cheeriness in the video, I find this song to be another bummerjam from our Barbadian Barbie. If this is the "fun Rihanna" then we really are in a global depression! Drake's unnecessary auto-drone seems like it was written in the car on the way to the studio. Although I do appreciate new math-related oral sex jokes. I'm sure after 1000 impressions it will stop bothering me that the lyrics have nothing to do with knowing her name. Ree-ahh-nah, what's the point? 2/5
D'Luv: I hated this song at first, but now it's grown on me. I can't believe it got to #1 in the U.S., but I feel it wouldn't have plummeted to #7 the next week if Drake hadn't been involved. He's a drag. 3/5
Grant: And so Rihanna continues her trend of following up a scorcher with an utter piece of boring, repetitive shite. No wonder it was a #1 hit in the US! And points deducted for featuring the blandly bland Drake, who along with Bieber is giving us Canadians a bad name. Thank God for supertalents like Elise Estrada and Margo! 2/5
J-Step: Don't hate it as much as Mike, but yeah, still pretty fucking boring. The U.S. market is too busy stroking it's NARROW mindedness to actually listen to what they're producing... lucky them! 2(for the "oh, na-na")/5
Mike: Here, bitch. Let me explain your name. R is for rubbish. I is for insufferable. H is for hack. A is for absolutely shit. N is for not another song about your supposed sexual prowess when you probably lie there like there an industrial strength blow up doll. N is also for nobody cares about your stupid fucking red wig. A is for your fans are arseholes. 0/5
The Prophet: Another flawless epic summer anthem from Queen RiRi. She may not be the most talented girl on earth but she sure knows how to shit out the hits! 5/5
Pet Shop Boys - Together (Video)
80s pop icons are still on the grind, filming this opus in glamorous Estonia.
Bruce: Solid Pet Shop Pop if a bit too Guettafied, it should still please their core audience of wistful disco queens. I'm sorry that someone feels that the PSBs are too old and decrepit to appear in their own music video, but I really enjoyed learning all about the underground Estonian ballroom breakdance scene! 4/5
D'Luv: I like this song. Not over the moon about it, and not their best single (plus, the "Ultimate" package it's included on is useless). But the video is definitely their finest in a decade. 3.5/5
Grant: Meh. Never been much of a fan, and this ain't gonna change that. It's like Neil Young being backed by Basshunter i.e. my worst nightmare. No thanks. 1.5/5
J-Step: These bitches could keep producing the same catchy hook-driven tracks for eternity and I'd still lap them up! Oh, wait, they have, and I do! I'm still waiting for a "Go West"/"It's A Sin" mash-up (yes, a boy can dream!)3/5
Mike: Yeah it's a bit shit but the "boys" have been rolling out the same song since 1993. I give this two extra points for them not appearing in the video. 2.5/5
The Prophet: I know I'm an asshole and the Pet Shop Boys are a great band for those who like them, but I fucking hate them and everything they do. I'd rather insert a razor blade into my anus than listen to these cunts. 0/5
3rd single from Australian electro outfit's "Illumination" album.
Bruce: Feeling the upbeat Jamiroquaishness, not feeling the strained vocals! It's wallpaper funk that has a decent bounce to it, but I can't say I want to hear it again. I can definitely say I don't want to watch the Adventures of Penis Mouth again! Ever! 3/5
D'Luv: Wait — am I hallucinating? Did Mike actually pass along a classy dance-pop jam for us to review for a change? I'm watching the video for a sixth time now, still looking for the Spanish tranny or the low-rent gay who needs voice lessons. 4/5
Grant: They can do no wrong in my books, and this track is no exception, though this video is perhaps their worst to date. And why feature Sarah Connor's twin brother in the leading role? 4.5/5
J-Step: It's definitely got a nice, cruisy, summer vibe going for it, but it's just a little too forgettable fluff for me! 2.5/5
Mike: A great summer jam from Miami Horror with a stack of killer remixes. Not sure about the District 9 meets Thelma & Louise video clip. 4/5
The Prophet: This is cool... Nothing else to say on the matter, really. 4/5
Her Majesty & The Wolves - Stars In Your Eyes (Video)
Ex-Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt's new band.
Bruce: Sorry, if we were in an off-cycle for the Black Eyed Peas I might allow this but they've just come back with a fresh assault on global radio so I'm afraid this won't work. I ask: if the one Pussycat who can sing can't have a hit, what makes the one who can do a vertical splitz think she can have one? Sorry, she kinda needs another five panty-dancers next to her to make it interesting. More Dolls, less glow-in-the-dark skeleton costumes! 2/5
D'Luv: Dizzee Rascal wants his three-dollar hooker back. But oh, well — this is actually good trash. If Cheryl Cole made videos this classy, I might not want to kick her pussy in. 4/5
Grant: It's amazing what talent Nicole was trying to stifle in PCD. All of her back-up dancers are now banging out pure pop trash brilliance, and Kimberley is at the head of the pack. Though not as fabulous as Glaciers, this is super-hot and skanky. Bonus points for paying tribute to Dannii's look circa 2002 and employing Ashley, the only Pussycat Doll without discernible talent. 4.5/5
J-Step: This is gonna be a grower! Nicole must be SCHiting herself. She's being outfabulised left, right and centre! 4/5
Mike: I like it but the production is more dated than Cher's birth certificate and Kimberly's voice makes Jessica Sutta sound like a pre-crack Whitney Houston. 3/5
The Prophet: Finally, the REAL talent in PCD is getting to shine! KIMBERLEGEND FTW! 5/5
Margo - Walking In LA (Video)
Internet sensation covers an 80s classic by Missing Persons.
Bruce: The year is 2011: Electro Punk has arrived! Great spin on a golden oldie, but just as you're starting to feel the funk the chorus kinda brings things to a screeching halt. Good thing the hyper freakout at the end gets your fist pumping again! 3/5
D'Luv: This is a pretty good cover. Ellie Goulding should take a few pointers. Once she pulls the oven mitt and Sylvia Plath novel out of her snatch, that is. 4/5
Grant: I could not love Margo more, and not just because she is currently my best (Facebook) friend. Thankfully she's doing us Canadians proud with style, edge, talent, beauty, personality and heavy doses of all of the old school music that I love. What an inspired song to remake as she takes over LA and soon the world!! 5/5
J-Step: I could teach you a thing or two, yeah, yeah! Luci's on fire this week. Taking over the world, one bitch at a time! 4/5
Mike: What a grower! The first time I heard this it just made me long for Traci Lords' stunning cover but I've seen the light. Margo is the sound of 2011! And I agree with J-Step. The production is very Luciana/Bodyrox-esque but I can't think of a bigger compliment. 5/5
The Prophet: I swear I discovered this bitch and now everybody is on her wig. She's so fierce! 4.5/5
SINGLE OF THE WEEKElise Estrada - You're So Hollywood (Below)
Stunning Canadian diva scored a #98 smash with this anthem in her homeland.
Bruce: First off, Paris doesn't go to the gym 'cuz the coke keeps her skinny, but whatever... I love the new Princess of Pacific Rim Pop! This is the kind of magic that gets created when a power vocalist is paired with an even more powerful computer application! (Maybe it failed to reach #97 on the charts because it's too "inside" showbiz and average Canadians don't relate to the struggles of getting your headshot posted in delicatessens?) The video earns extra points for the "Law and Order: Vancouver" storyline and the lipstick on the male dancers. 5/5
D'Luv: Oh, hell yes. 5/5
Grant: A surprise return from Canada's premiere recording artist after, well, almost everyone else. Mind you, since no one here was even aware of her in the first place, I guess it's not that much of a surprise. But a tasty piece of cheese it is, and good on her for making a desperate bid to reach the US and Asian markets in the vid (even if she does have to hire her own 'fans'). 3.5/5
J-Step: L.A. has REALLY changed Luciana! 4/5
Mike: Glamour has a new name! This is further proof that the charts are rigged. Elise should be #1 on every chart in existence. Her profound vocal prowess, stunning beauty and relatable lyrics touched me in places I didn't even know I had. Please tell me Canada's greatest talent since Celine Dion has an album on the way! 5/5
The Prophet: This glamorous diva is my new fave! She's like the Asian Kaci/Kimberly. 3.5/5